'Queen of Rock 'n' Roll' Sells Music Rights for Big Bucks

Tina Turner has released her 60-year music catalog to BMG, for a reported $50M
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2021 8:57 AM CDT
'Queen of Rock 'n' Roll' Sells Music Rights for Big Bucks
This image released by HBO shows Tina Turner in a scene from the documentary "Tina."   (HBO via AP)

It's a seller's market, apparently—at least if you're Tina Turner. The 81-year-old Grammy Award winner, the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll" responsible for such hits as "What's Love Got to Do With It" and "Private Dancer," has released the rights to her entire music catalog, stretching over six decades, to music publisher BMG. While the exact financials haven't been disclosed, industry sources tell the BBC it's in excess of $50 million—the biggest deal BMG has ever landed with a single artist, notes the Guardian.

The deal not only hands over to BMG the rights to Turner's entire discography, but also the rights to use her name, image, and likeness in any future sponsorship, merch, or other related initiatives. Turner's work will continue to be distributed by Warner Music. "Tina Turner's musical journey has inspired hundreds of millions of people around the world and continues to reach new audiences," BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch says, per the BBC. "She is, truly and simply, the best." He adds that the company plans to take some of Turner's work into streaming and onto platforms like TikTok.

Rolling Stone notes that Masuch has a "close personal relationship" with Turner and had been chatting with her for some time about the broader "booming music acquisition landscape." For her part, Turner—who started performing as a teenage Anna Mae Bullock in the late '50s, when she joined Ike Turner's band as a backup singer—says the move was made to care for her legacy.

"Like any artist, the protection of my life's work, my musical inheritance, is something personal," she says in a statement. "I am confident that with BMG and Warner Music, my work is in professional and reliable hands." Turner has more good news headed her way: The singer will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame later this month. As for BMG, Masuch tells Rolling Stone the company will be spending a "significant amount of money" on other high-profile music acquisitions in the near future. (Read more Tina Turner stories.)

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